Surprisingly little press coverage of the 80 XS

$199 8" 4:3 1024x768 RK3066 with $49 keyboard coverboard dock
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ifb
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Surprisingly little press coverage of the 80 XS

Post by ifb »

I am quite surprised there has been so little coverage of the 80 XS considering it has an interesting spec. When mine arrives I will do a review here... in the meantime if you have one why not share your thoughts on your 80 XS?
Archos 80 G9
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Re: Surprisingly little press coverage of the 80 XS

Post by ifb »

I understand that my 80XS has been delivered but I was out of the office most of the day - so I hope to pick it up tomorrow. I said to Archos I wasn't bothered about the keyboard dock/cover so I am curious to know if they supplied one. It seems to be standard everywhere I see the XS models advertised but I also heard it was an optional extra as well; confused!
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Re: Surprisingly little press coverage of the 80 XS

Post by ifb »

Well, so far so good - I have unpacked the 80XS and it is now charging (it arrived half charged). This looks like what the 80 G9 should have been. Build quality looks very nice so far and yes, I did get the keyboard cover. I was a little nervous about the magnetic attachment arrangement because I don't want magnets on the tablet itself that could compromise the compass (I haven't checked but I am assuming there is a compass!). Thankfully the magnets are on the keyboard only. The keyboard itself is pretty neat and the typing action is better than I expected based on some other reports. I think Archos could have designed in some physical lugs so that the keyboard only attached in one fixed position to the tablet when acting as a cover. Instead there is a thin rubber edge that provides friction to locate the keyboard to the tablet's screen bezel. It's OK but it's not too difficult for the keyboard to be moved relative to the tablet when it is attached as a cover.

Not sure the tablet will be fully charged when I have to leave for a meeting in London in an hour's time, but if it is charged by then I will bring it with me and play with it on the train.

More later...
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Re: Surprisingly little press coverage of the 80 XS

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Well, here we are, on the train with the 80XS tethered to my Galaxy Note via wifi and I'm using the keyboard with the tablet docked on my lap. This would work better on a table but it is usable this way. The main problem is that the screen is too upright. Having arrow keys is fantastic, though!

Wifi seens quite normal and I have already installed a couple of dozen apps. The tablet has unexpectedly rebooted once while an app was installing - not sure why.

Not sure the screenis quite right as reds in particular are lacking in saturation. So I will need to do some research on screencolour adjustments - not even sure it is actually possible.

Using the keyboard as a cover to protect the screen is neat but I already have a couple of scuff marks so a sleeve style case may be in order.

More to come... (wonder if anyone is reading this!)
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Re: Surprisingly little press coverage of the 80 XS

Post by ifb »

After 24 hours of use the consensus here is that the 80XS gets the thumbs-up. It's not slow, the graphics are smooth and responsive, it looks well made and the design is better than the G9. The keyboard cover is a nice bonus. I have had no problems with the wifi and the GPS and compass both work although the former is not as spectacularly good as my Galaxy Note phone's GPS. Not tried Bluetooth yet. I have not experienced any problems with video lip-sync which was a perennial problem with my G9; YouTube and BBC iPlayer both work well. I have installed the Google keyboard that incorporates a Swype-like keying action and this works well.

It's not perfect, however; the white finish, although attractive and affording useful grip when you hold the device shows up dirt very easily although most of this can be wiped off with a damp cloth; although you may need to scrub a bit. The screen colours are not right (lacking in saturation - especially in red hues) and the MVA display is not as good as an IPS one; the viewing angles are slightly better than a G9 but not by a lot. Screen brightness is only about adequate at full brightness setting. The power and volume controls are not easy to find and operate, but that was the case with the G9, too. The power/charge indicator light is on the opposite side to the USB port, which is slightly confusing. The sound is poor; low volume and no body to the sound. The front facing camera is not very good but it's adequate for Skype and is no worse than the G9's. Battery life is not in iPad territory but it's adequate and may improve once I have installed a battery-saver app.

The paragraph above may be of concern but I can just about live with it. The main thing is that it all seems to work! My family think it looks cool, too, which they never thought the G9 did.
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